$60,000,000… a fair price?

Peter Z (Year 12), Editor

No doubt many have seen the Hills Shire Times’ February article that read: ‘Fresh $60m plans for Hills private school’.  Announced at the Term 1 Headmaster’s assembly, Dr Marsh presented to the student body the new plans for the Bryson Centre – a state of the art building, equipped with modern classrooms, open-plan designs, eco-friendly architecture, and futuristic technology – a building to be established in the coming years.  

Who knows – future WCC students will probably have access to rooftop terraces with sweeping ocean views; on-campus Frangos – or maybe even an adequately-paved student carpark! 

I don’t know when the construction of the new Bryson Centre will be completed, but, going off how long the Branwhite Centre took, the vast majority of the current secondary school will not be here to witness its grand opening and benefit from its facilities. Is that fair 

For most WCC students, our time here isn’t short. Whether we commence in Year 7, Year 5 or Kindergarten, it’s by no means a small portion of our young lives. 

As the student body, whose families, collectively, have endowed thousands of their own hard-earned dollars to the College for the sake of our education, how should we react? The ones who will never be here to experience and benefit from these massive new developments at the college we’ve called home – some of us since the age of 5? The ones who’ve had to endure years of dodgy demountables that stink and make a racket in the rain, saunas in the summer and freezers on July mornings? 

Although it feels somewhat unfair that I’ll never get to sit through a high school English class in a futuristic new building, I try to think of how far the College has come since its inception, and even since I commenced here. Upon reflecting, I can’t help but feel grateful, and somewhat nostalgic, for the College’s humble beginnings, and the numerous opportunities it has afforded us all in our time here. 

Your initial response to Dr Marsh’s announcement might’ve been negative, understandably. I’ll admit, it’s hard not to envy the WCC students of 2032 and beyond. But seriously, the very name of the new Bryson Centre is a tribute to the College’s past students and staff, who never got to see the multimillion-dollar facilities we now take for granted in 2022. I wonder how they’d feel walking the college grounds today.  

Such is life!  

Think of a world without the internet, cars, electricity! People alive today are a living-breathing reminder of the world we have left behind and the one we inherit in the future. Philosopher Edmund Burke wrote that “Society is contract … between those who are dead, those who are living, and those who are to be born”. We cannot forsake our ancestorial lineage as we forge a new world for those to come.  

Like society, WCC is constantly changing, and we can thank our predecessors for the Branwhite Centre just as people not even born yet will reap the benefits of the new Bryson building. The College will continue thriving long after we have all moved on – hopefully holding on to its humble beginnings as a testament to how far it has come.